Concrete Garage Slabs
There is nothing so good as a perfectly poured and smoothed concrete slab garage floor. Concrete is durable and long lasting and can be polished to a truly showroom level of smoothness. Yet so many concrete slabs have cracks, in some cases from the moment they have dried. We pour concrete garage slabs that don't crack and look great because we know precisely what we're doing.
There are a number of things to take care of to avoid cracking but the biggest single factor is getting the preparation right before laying the slab. Laying a slab directly onto the subgrade (soil) is a recipe for disaster so we prepare the ground by first removing the topsoil and adding a compacted subbase and a compacted base of gravel to help drainage. The concrete is poured with a thick edge, called a footing to keep it strong and provide stability. It used to be the case that garage slabs were laid at a different height to the house – about four inches lower. That was because old autos used to leak a lot more petrol and oil than modern ones and the height difference helped stop gasoline and its fumes from making their way into the house. That regulation has gone now, not least because modern cars are better at keeping their fluids inside themselves, so we can lay a slab that is level with your kitchen floor.
Although a vapor barrier looks like a simple sheet of plastic it is important to use a dedicated vapor barrier manufactured specifically for the purpose. Properly applied a vapor barrier stops water moving through the porous concrete and condensing.
If the garage slab is going to be taking a lot of weight, because trucks will pass over it or perhaps it's a heavy duty spot like a loading bay, then it makes sense to reinforce that concrete. For a standard garage floor it probably isn't necessary to add metal rebar to the concrete, though a lot of people prefer us to do so anyway as a belt and braces approach. To work properly that metal rebar or mesh reinforcement needs to be in the middle of the slab, not resting at the bottom and we do that by anchoring the reinforcement in the ground properly before pouring the concrete. It's also essential to pour concrete to the right depth, typically six to eight inches thick. Once our technicians know what kind of workload a slab is expected to handle they will tell you how we design and build it to be up to the job.
The last step in the process is smoothing the concrete to a perfect finish and cutting expansion joints to ensure that it can expand and contract when heat changes without cracking. We talk of concrete drying but actually the proper term is curing as it isn't just drying; it's chemical process that leaves the properly cured slab solid, long lasting, and great looking.